Independent Evaluation of Community Alternatives
TxDOT requested that the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, or TTI, conduct an independent evaluation of concepts proposed by community groups including Reconnect Austin, Rethink 35, and the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA)/Urban Land Institute (ULI). TTI is an independent agency of the State of Texas that provides research for transportation projects, problems and challenges. The institute reviewed elements of the community concepts that are currently incorporated or could be reasonably incorporated in the TxDOT-proposed build alternatives as well as those elements that are not incorporated, and whether the community concepts are feasible as standalone alternatives (TTI 2021).
This independent study found that while none of the three concepts are feasible as standalone alternatives, much of what the separate entities are proposing is included in the TxDOT-proposed build alternatives, including:
- Lowered travel lanes.
- More than 15 widened east-west crossings, including a new crossing at 5th Street for all users; and new pedestrian crossings at Cap Metro Red Line/Future Gold Line south of Airport Boulevard, and between 51st Street and US 290 East.
- Bicycle and pedestrian enhancements including 20-foot buffers and 10-foot shared-use paths.
- Low design speeds on frontage roads.
- Enhanced person-carrying capacity along the corridor by providing a reliable route for transit in managed lanes.
- Enhancements from community concepts considered for further study.
More information on this independent study is available at My35Capex.com.